Continuing a conversation about Belonging, research by Brené Brown, and the spiritual ramifications of self-doubt. See the first post on this subject here.
When I was in high school, I longed to be a cheerleader. I watched their routines at pep rallies and ballgames carefully, practicing in the backyard. Cheerleaders were not gymnasts in 1960, or I would not even consider being a cheerleader. I was not an athletic teenager, but the cheerleaders were so cool!
I certainly had the loud mouth that could urge the crowd to cheer. My high school’s cheerleaders were selected by a vote of the student body after each girl did a routine on the stage of the auditorium in front of the entire school.
That’s what stopped me. I knew I could not possibly run out on a stage and lead a cheer. Make a speech? Yes, I probably could do that. But putting together jumps, hand movements, plus a loud cheer? Nah. Too risky. I could see myself falling flat on my face!
Would you want to repeat your middle school experience? Or high school? Not me! Too much anxiety. Too much insecurity.
What did you believe about yourself during your teen years?
I’m not skinny enough.
I’m not coordinated enough (to be a cheerleader, play a sport, etc.)
I’m not smart enough.
I’m not friendly enough.
These thoughts invade our hearts and minds at a young age, sometimes even before puberty sets in. Our self-doubt can paralyze us, causing us to withdraw into a shell or pull on a mask. Sometimes the mask follows us into adulthood.
Are you still hiding behind a mask?
Brené Brown’s research found that the fear of vulnerability keeps us from authentic connection, resulting in the belief that we are unworthy.
The difference in a person with a sense of worthiness, and one who feels unworthy is in what she believes. Brown labeled those with a sense of worthiness as Wholehearted people. They believe:
they are worthy of being loved and belonging.
what makes them vulnerable makes them beautiful.
“I Am Enough.”
Sadly the “I am not enough” belief invades our spiritual beliefs also. We are afraid that who we are, what we’ve done, or failed to do, or even what we might do in the future means God cannot possibly love “me” or forgive “me”.
The New Testament letters by Paul and other writers make it clear that this belief problem is not a 20 or 21st century development. Verse after verse can be found that remind us:
we were loved before we were born.
we are forgiven of all our sins by the blood of Christ.
“the Spirit we received does not make us slaves again to fear.” Romans 8:15
“There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” Romans 8:1
“We are God’s masterpiece made to do good things.” Eph. 2:10
I thank God for His forgiveness, for the riches of his grace that He lavishes on us!